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Old 24-12-2013, 10:34 AM   #1
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Default Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

http://www.motoring.com.au/news/2013...on-rings-40773 With thanks to Motoring -

Victorian company’s ringless air-seal system could revolutionise combustion engine design

A Victorian company is working on a technology with potentially major implications for future petrol and diesel engine design.

Warrnambool-based engineering consultancy Dynex has come up with a piston design that eliminates the spring-metal ring traditionally used to form a seal between the piston and the wall of the combustion chamber.

“That’s long been seen as essential in maximising compression and combustion efficiency,” Dynex CEO Brian Trigg told motoring.com.au.

“But our work so far suggests otherwise – that an absolute seal isn’t that important, and eliminating the friction generated by the rings on the cylinder wall can have far-reaching effects on engine design on the whole.”

The key to the technology lies in the replacement of metal rings with “virtual rings” of air pressure, created by the movement of air through grooves in the side of the piston.

“We’ve found a kind of compromise where our design produces a good-enough seal while virtually eradicating the friction created by normal rings.”

With patents in place, Dynex is currently in talks with a number of big-name car-makers worldwide, pitching its technology as a breakthrough in boosting mechanical, volumetric and thermal efficiency levels.

It stands to cut fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and wear-and-tear by eliminating internal friction. It’s also working on a version for rotary engines.

While Dynex is developing the new piston design for incorporation into existing engine designs, it also opens the way for a complete conceptual overhaul, giving potential rise to lighter and more compact engines.

While conventional piston rings form an effective seal, the friction they generate absorbs some of the kinetic energy the engine is trying to create and turns it into unwanted heat energy.

This is a large part of the reason cars need cooling systems. Eliminating friction allows engines to run cooler. That makes for smaller, smarter cooling systems, cutting associate pumping losses and reducing engine mass.


How the ringless piston works:
In place of the rings, each piston has numerous small, angled grooves, semi-circular at their apex. With the small clearances between them, the movement of the piston creates high-speed eddies -- air pressure working like metal rings to cut leakage and loss during the compression and combustion strokes.

“That means there’s no metal-to metal contact between the pistons or rotors and their mating cylinders or housings. Virtually no friction means the mechanism needs no lubrication and there’s no wear and tear on major components,” said Trigg.

There’s an important by-product here, too. Putting an “air cushion” around the periphery of the combustion chamber creates a stratified air-fuel charge – an injection profile that enriches the mixture in the centre of the chamber and leans it up towards the periphery.

It’s the ideal set-up to make the most of each spark, already used in advanced engines by the likes of Benz and BMW for the win-win it produces in boosting performance while cutting consumption and emissions.

Dynex has brought the technology to the proof-of-concept phase, in which virtual modelling of the “air-sealing” principle looks promising enough to get to work on the real thing.

The company is working up a horizontally-opposed (boxer) prototype engine with conventional ringed pistons, with a view to replacing them with the grooved ones.

“We’ve reached the point where we need to secure corporate backing to push the project through the development stage towards international commercialisation,” Trigg said.

“While it’s not possible to predict time to market until we achieve that, we’re confident it won’t take long.”

The Dynex piston design also has major implications beyond the consumer car market, he added.

“We are optimistic there’ll also be good demand for the technology for aircraft and military applications.”



Aussie ingenuity

cheers, Maka
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Old 24-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Piston rings are not only there to provide a seal, but they also scrape the oil back down the cylinder walls.
But their design is frictionless, and thus not oil is required in the cylinders; so somehow they are going to have to seal the cylinders to stop oil getting in there.
Not only that, im not sure what their solution is to stop the cylinder walls from being sooted/carboned up over time.

But sounds like a decent leap forward if they can get it to work in the real World.
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

engineers have been talking about ceramic piston or rotors fitted to engines with out cooling systems that run at lots of thousands of RPM

running on hydrogen so they are clean with non liquid lubrication systems.

the problem the rings as they broke of vibrated. the drag on the bore created massive heat and the pistons speeds needed caused massive damage.

this is the sort of thing that be massive demand for with airbourn drones and battery rechargers. don't think you see it in a family car until you see fleets of electric cars.
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

And try getting development money out of the government for it.......Takes bloody years!
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Old 24-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #5
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Smile Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

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Piston rings are not only there to provide a seal, but they also scrape the oil back down the cylinder walls.
But their design is frictionless, and thus not oil is required in the cylinders; so somehow they are going to have to seal the cylinders to stop oil getting in there.
Not only that, im not sure what their solution is to stop the cylinder walls from being sooted/carboned up over time.

But sounds like a decent leap forward if they can get it to work in the real World.
I agree with what you say but am not sure about the assumption in the article about the design being frictionless. I could be wrong, but doesn't the cylinder "lean" on one side of the combustion chamber wall as the piston rises and then lean on the opposite side as the cylinder falls? Taking out the piston ring doesn't stop the cylinders leaning. Or am I missing something?
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Old 24-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

have a quick look at the link. from the picture the conrod joins the opisite piston not the crankshaft.

the friction is the in a peg and slot arrangement[there is a name for this] in a fly wheel.

sort of an air car motor idea or a air tool system.
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Old 24-12-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

gunner it says the air eddies form a cushion between the cylinder and the piston, pretty amazing stuff ay, although the standard piston and ring set up is actually pretty amazing ..................I read years ago in an article,
that if the standard engine used one drop of oil per revolution its oil consumption would be 5 gallons per mile, the internal combustion engine is already a pretty cool bit of kit.
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Old 26-12-2013, 07:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Anything to try and improve the abysmal efficiency of turning fuel into motion that a standard petrol engine has at the moment can't be a bad thing.

Seriously...if you had invented the internal combustion engine today and went to a company to say you had discovered this amazing way of moving a vehicle, and then said "But it's only capable of operating at less than 20% efficiency at the absolute best, usually a lot less", the financial backers would laugh and say "interesting idea...but go try again, that's hopeless".
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Old 26-12-2013, 07:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Direct injected turbo petrol engines are up around 35% efficient I think you'll find.

If you went to someone and said you had an amazing invention that could move a 1t object 20km with only a litre of liquid im sure youd get financial backing...
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Old 26-12-2013, 08:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

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And try getting development money out of the government for it.......Takes bloody years!
All you got to do these days is say that your research is for "being green" purposes and to save the environment and these knuckleheads in Canberra drop to their knees and open up their wallets like theres no tomorrow, just to please the other sandal wearing dipshits known as the greens.
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Old 26-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

What ever happened to the Orbital Engine that was always about to be put into production but I have not seen it since?
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Old 26-12-2013, 09:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

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What ever happened to the Orbital Engine that was always about to be put into production but I have not seen it since?
Heres a snippet out of a book called Firepower, the most spectacular fraud in Australian history........

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Ever since Ralph Sarich appeared on the ABC Television show, The Inventors in 1972 and revealed a new type of two-stroke engine, fortunes have been won and lost on assurances to revolutionise the car industry. Sarich's compact design promised more power, fewer emissions and significant fuel economy. The fact that his Orbital engine remained untested failed to dampen the resultant frenzy.

Australia's largest company, BHP, formed a joint venture to develop the technology. Shares that once traded for 20 cents went to $24 each. Investors and analysts brimmed with confidence about the potential for lucrative multi-million dollar contracts from big car manufacturers.

Governments got involved. During the 1987 Federal election campaign, the then Prime Minister, Bob Hawke, announced that $500,000 worth of taxpayers' money would be used to assess the viability of an Orbital Engine manufacturing plant. He was responding to fears that Australia would lose the project to foreign interests.

But the inflated confidence overlooked a number of fundamental problems. Key components of the Sarich engine couldn't be cooled. And others couldn't be readily lubricated. It was susceptible to overheating, and the invention was eventually deemed too impractical.

By 2004, the Orbital Engine Company had accumulated losses of $480-million but Sarich had been fortunate enough to get out early. He sold his shares and did what every sensible millionaire does, he bought property in Perth's central business district.
The book is mainly about Tim Johnston's company Firepower and the magic fuel saving pill (anyone else remember this ) but does mention the Orbital engine (amongst a few other dodgy inventions).......it's a good read......

Firepower
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Old 26-12-2013, 10:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

When I was younger doing automotive class, our teacher and this guy helped us enter a fuel miser comp, I remember we finished 2nd the year I did it, but I think they went on to win 5 in a row. They were always thinking outside the box and trying something different.
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Old 26-12-2013, 11:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Be interesting to see some numbers from a motor that utilises this type of tech, I wonder how long before this nice innovation hits the showroom floor & what type of application first ie fuel saver, performance or both? Great idea if its proven reliable & cost effective, i wouldnt mind this setup in a 2 stroke dirt bike also

cheers, Maka
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Old 26-12-2013, 12:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

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And try getting development money out of the government for it.......Takes bloody years!
Let's have a bit of consistency here....so the govt should pick and back winners and call that an example of capitalism ....BUT....when they pick one that goes down the tube we reserve the right to call them a bunch of incompetent socialists

For Melbournians, a recent example is MYKI, the govt put out a contract which the private sector said it could meet for x amount but which they failed to deliver as promised. But
Guess who got it in the neck.....not the private sector!
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Old 26-12-2013, 06:07 PM   #16
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Oh the things I've seen over the years...mostly at town shows and agricultural exhibitions...that were advertised as improving your economy by massive margins.
The best ones were the "modest ones"...the guys who had "spark improver" things that went between the coil lead and the dizzy cap, which only promised small gains. People were more likely to believe them, and bought them in droves. I know I did.

Spark enhancers, fuel additives (including the famous fuel "pill" one that suckered in our own Queensland state government at the time of Joh), hydrogen producers (always a perennial favourite amongst those who don't understand you can't get something for nothing), inlet trickery like the HiClone rubbish, etc, etc, etc...the list is almost endless.


And that's the battle that guys like this piston ring-less bloke are up against...backers have seen so many scams, con artists, and outright convincing frauds that when someone does come up with a genuine good idea, he has to look long and hard to find good backing from a reputable source. I'm not saying this "eliminate the piston rings" idea is a sound one (but it could be, who knows?), but you get my meaning.
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Old 26-12-2013, 07:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

I personally cannot see it working it is just a 'concept design' isn't it?......Surely you will get some leakdown of fuel contaminating the engine oil?
You are much more likely to get improved power and economy from things like variable camshaft timing, variable compression and bi fuel/tri fuel designs.....Eventually they will even have electronic or air solenoid operated valves with no need for camshafts and valve train gear that suck power from the engine.

I really think the EcoBoost 1.0 and V6 TT are leap years ahead of the rest while still burning petrol/diesel with fantastic power and economy figures!
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Old 26-12-2013, 09:19 PM   #18
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Rotary valve cylinder head was another that hasn't really materialised..
No cams, pushrods, valves, valve springs....
Great concept, but no idea what happened to it?
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Old 26-12-2013, 09:26 PM   #19
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

...and sleeve valve radial engines.
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Old 26-12-2013, 10:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

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And try getting development money out of the government for it.......Takes bloody years!
Lol.. With our Government .... Lol...

They'll just say 'Sell the information'

unfortunately, all great aussie inventions have to be sold to overseas companies as the Aussie Government doesn't give a flyer.
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Old 26-12-2013, 10:13 PM   #21
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Any govt that financially backs an inventor is bound for the big drop!
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Old 26-12-2013, 11:01 PM   #22
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

So piston movement makes virtual rings.
What happens at TDC on ignition stroke when the piston stops and there is a giant increase in pressure?

Scotch yoke conversion for Subaru boxer is another nifty invention.
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Old 26-12-2013, 11:26 PM   #23
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

Many years ago a bloke from Victoria I believe started to manufacture a anti lock braking system that was being fitted to 4wds mainly - FROIBs (friction reduced oil immersed braking system ) Its was on a show like the new inventors or beyond 2000. Its was that long ago I couldn't give an explanation on how it worked but the key benefit was that you would only ever have to change the oil in the system, no more pads & disc changes for the remaining life of the car. Needless to say his own bank ( one of the big Aussie 4 ) would not lend him any money to increase his manufacturing capabilities even thou he had an very successful business. ( Apologies, cant find any references on the web about the braking system either ) The reality probably had more to do with the spare parts market rather than a possible more efficient & cheaper brakes for cars etc. A lot of equipment today still uses that kind of technology. Will be interesting to see if the patents hold up or possibly get shelved for the Dynex piston, hope not to many good ideas & inventions get bought by the powerful few.
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Old 27-12-2013, 12:04 AM   #24
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

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Eventually they will even have electronic or air solenoid operated valves with no need for camshafts and valve train gear that suck power from the engine.

you mean like what they've been using in f1 for years?
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Old 27-12-2013, 12:30 AM   #25
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

no rings / air sealed

pull the other one it plays jingle bells
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Old 27-12-2013, 09:42 AM   #26
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

I guess the proof in the pudding will be when / if Dynex signs a deal with a major manufacturer, a running demonstration motor showcasing this new tech would be nice for all to see!

cheers, maka
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Old 27-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #27
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

I like this idea pneumatic valves allowing any cam profile at any time including a square profile as the cam becomes a virtual cam only, they have it already working and proven, they say its only 3/4 years out for production cars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bch5B23_pu0
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Old 27-12-2013, 11:22 AM   #28
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Default Re: Aussie invention eliminates piston rings

http://bioage.typepad.com/.shared/im...4/multiair.png


fiat CHEEP cars use hydrolic controlled intake valve that achieves timing and throttle opening.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009...ntroduces.html
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Old 27-12-2013, 11:44 AM   #29
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you mean like what they've been using in f1 for years?
Yes and I think Moto GP bikes be using air valves soon also?
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Old 27-12-2013, 12:10 PM   #30
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http://bioage.typepad.com/.shared/im...4/multiair.png


fiat CHEEP cars use hydrolic controlled intake valve that achieves timing and throttle opening.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2009...ntroduces.html
That sounds like BM valvetronic .
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